"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go."
-Fred Rogers

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chicago Moms Blog: Not without my doula

In July of 2007 I assisted a mom as she had a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) for her 2nd child. It was an amazing experience, and below is the link to the blog entry that the mom posted shortly after her baby's birth. I believe all women should have a doula during labor and birth, but I think it's vitally important for VBAC moms to have a doula by their side. VBAC births are by far my favorite births to attend. If you are planning a VBAC, please contact me so we can talk!!

Chicago Moms Blog: Not without my doula

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To learn more about VBAC please visit:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Elliott Thomas is here!!

I recently attended a beautiful birth with a mom and dad at Evanston Hospital. It was a long labor, but Jody stayed so calm throughout. I feel honored to have been a part of baby Elliott's birth. Below is an excerpt from an e-mail I just received from Jody, along with some pictures of little Elliott and his family.


I wanted to send you an email thanking you for all you have done for our family. My memories during labor are flashes of you caring for me in any way you can. I am so thankful that I had you, Chris, and Debi with me so that I could have the type of drug-free birth I so desperately believe in. Even with back labor and inconsistent surges, the skills I learned in hypnobirthing carried me through. Thank you for your tender, healing touch during my labor and for all of those moments you looked deep into my eyes to calm me. You almost knew what I was feeling before I did. Your ability to care for a woman during the most intense moment in her life is an extraordinary gift. Chris and I can't stop talking about your knowledge of the birthing process and healing touch through oils, accupressure, and soothing voice filled with encouragement.Happy to report that Elliott is breastfeeding well. We just made it through engorgement! His first doc visit went really well, and his poops are yellow and seedy! I hope this all gets easier after a few weeks.
Love and Thanks,

Chris, Jody, and Elliott

A more detailed birth story will follow soon...
Here is the birth story of Elliott Thomas:
Late in my pregnancy I was told by my midwife that my baby was in the OP position. I began to incorporate yoga positions into my exercise sessions that would encourage my baby to turn anterior. I went into labor naturally on April 27, at 3:40 am with contractions 12 to 15 minutes apart. As my surges became closer during the next 12 hours, I began to notice the lingering pain in my lower back after each surge. I managed the back pain the same way I was able to breathe through the surges: through visualization, deep, low breathing, the support of the baby's father, and Tricia. Tricia and Chris would take turns relieving the pain in my lower back by applying pressure to my back while I was on all fours during each surge. As the labor progressed, so did the surges, as well as the pressure in my back. In addition to pressure applied to my back, Tricia and Chris applied heat to my back, essential oils were used, music, and various positions to aid in encouraging the baby to move as well as provide me with some relief. 40 hours into my labor, it was becoming more difficult to maintain my focus, but my dedication and belief in natural birth, HypnoBirthing, and the support I was receiving all helped to keep me focused on the natural birth I wanted for myself and for my baby. The use of the bathtub at home and at the hospital also provided great relief and relaxation. One technique Tricia used was aiming the shower head onto my lower back while at the same time applying pressure to that area. I would breathe through the surge and use the visualization techniques I had learned. My advice to any woman facing back labor and striving for a drug free birth is that it's definitely possible if you don't panic and stay as loose as possible. I focused on keeping my jaw, shoulders, and lower body as loose as possible. When my son began his journey through my birth canal, I visualized a flower opening or my entire lower body opening to birth my baby. This visual kept me from panicking and also guided me toward a sensation that felt more like "pressure", not a "burning" or "ring of fire" we often hear about. Also, believe in yourself and trust in your partner and Doula to help guide you and keep you focused. My baby boy was born alert and latched on to my breast immediately after birth. My 49 hours of labor was worth every minute.